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wormwood

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definition/description read:

Various woody plants having an intensely bitter taste and a strong aromatic odor. Wormwood is used figuratively in the Bible to describe the bitter effects of immorality, enslavement, injustice, and apostasy. At Revelation 8:11, “wormwood” denotes a bitter and poisonous substance, also called absinthe.​—De 29:18; Pr 5:4; Jer 9:15; Am 5:7. (New World Translation Revised Edition 2013–Glossary)

Wormwood v. What the Bible Truly Teaches or “really says”…

Beliefs and Attitudes of Christendom:

God’s personal name is unimportant:  “The use of any proper name for the one and only God is entirely inappropriate for the universal faith of the Christian Church.”  (Preface to the Revised Standard Version)

What the Bible Says:

 Jesus prayed that God’s name be sanctified. Peter said: “Everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.” (Acts 2:21; Joel 2:32Matthew 6:9; Exodus 6:3Revelation 4:11; 15:3; 19:6)

Beliefs and Attitudes of Christendom:

God is a Trinity: “The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods but one God.”  (The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1912 edition)

What the Bible Truly Teaches:

The Bible says that Jehovah is greater than Jesus and is the God and head of Christ. (John 14:28; 20:17; 1 Corinthians 11:3The holy spirit is God’s active force. (Matthew 3:11Luke 1:41; Acts 2:4)

Beliefs and Attitudes of Christendom:

The human soul is immortal: When man dies his soul and body are disunited. His body . . .decays . . .The human soul, however, does not die.” (What Happens After Death, a Roman Catholic publication)

What the Bible Really Says:

Man is a soul. At death the soul ceases to think or feel and returns to the dust from which it was made.  (Genesis 2:7; 3:19;Psalm 146:3, 4Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20; 9:5, 10Ezekiel 18:4, 20)

Beliefs and Attitudes of Christendom:

The wicked are punished after death in hell: “According to traditional Christian belief, hell is a place of unending anguish and pain.” (The World Book Encyclopedia, edition 1987)

What the Bible Truly Teaches:

The wages of sin is death, not life in torment. (Romans 6:23The dead rest unconscious in

*hell (Hades, Sheol), awaiting a resurrection. (Psalm 89:48; John 5:28, 29; 11:24, 25Revelation 20:13, 14) (*hell is the common grave of mankind)

Beliefs and Attitudes of Christendom:

“The title Mediatrix [female mediator] is applied to Our Lady.” (New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967 edition)

What the Bible Says:

The only mediator between God and men is Jesus. (John 14:6; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 9:15Heb 12:24)

Beliefs and Attitudes of Christendom:

Infants should be baptized: “From the very beginning the Church has administered Sacrament of Baptism to infants. Baptism to infants: Not only was this practice considered lawful, but it was also taught to be absolutely necessary for salvation.”  (New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967 edition)

What the Bible Truly Teaches:

Baptism is for those who have been made disciples and taught to obey Jesus’ commandments. To qualify for baptism, a person must understand God’s Word and exercise faith. (Matthew 28:19, 20; Luke 3:21-23; Acts 8:35, 36)

Beliefs and Attitudes of Christendom:

Most churches are divided into a laity class and a clergy class, The clergy are usually given a salary in exchange for their ministry and are exalted over the laity by titles such as “Reverend,” “Father,” or “His Eminence.”

What the Bible says:

All first-century Christians were ministers and shared in preaching the good news. (Acts 2:17, 18Romans 10:10-13; 16:1) A Christian should “give free,” not for a salary. (Matthew 10:7, 8 ) Jesus strictly forbade the use of religious titles.(Matthew 6:2; 23:2-12;1 Peter 5:1-3)

Beliefs and Attitudes of Christendom:

Images, icons, and crosses are used in worship: “The images . . . of Christ, of the Virgin Mother of God, and of the other saints, are to be . . . kept in churches and due reverence and honor be paid to them.” (Declaration of the Council of Trent [1545-63])

What the Bible Truly Teaches:

Christians must flee from every sort of idolatry, including so-called relative worship. (Exodus 20:4, 51 Corinthians 10:141 John 5:21) They worship God not by sight but with spirit and truth. (John 4:23, 242 Corinthians 5:7)

Beliefs and Attitudes of Christendom:

Church members are taught that God’s purposes will be accomplished through politics. The late Cardinal Spellman stated: “There is only one road  . . . , the highroad of democracy. News items report religion’s involvement in the world’s politics (even in insurrections) and her support of the UN as “the last hope of concord and peace.”

What the Bible Says:

Jesus preached God’s Kingdom, not some political system, as the hope for mankind. (Matthew 4:23; 6:9, 10He refused to get involved in politics. (John 6:14 15) His Kingdom was no part of this world; hence, his followers were to be no part of the world. (John 18:36; 17:16) Jesus warned against friendship with the world. (James 4:4)

[reference reading excerpted: (from the aforementioned book in another post: T-h-e Red Book): Revelation–It’s Grand Climax at Hand!)

Question(s) for Reflection(s):
am i choosing bitter (wormwood)?
am i choosing sweet (Truth)?
am i distinguishing between bitter fruit? and sweet fruit?
am i living wormwood?
am i living Truth?
are my daily decisions indicative of my making clear distinctions between wormwood & Truth?
9/23/18 @ 12:27 p.m.
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Prioritizing Knowledge

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Peaceful Greetings Truth Seeking Reader🙂

Our life spans are limited. DUH! history/modern-story clearly testifies to this…fact. IF i value life (time) and respect it is limited (now)…i prioritize my learning…my knowledge/my life.

So, for me personally, i don’t waste my time on pseudo-science or pseudo-religion…or pseudo-relationship…etc. This verse helps…the selection process (of focus/attention/work)…

This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. (John 17:3)

Everlasting!! life…not 13 years nor 56 years…nor 70 nor 80, 100 years…it makes sense to me and to the scales of worth/justice…VALUE…it’s worth my life/time to invest focus/effort…invest my learning and acquiring of accurate knowledge…on that which will extend my life….infinitely!:)…and improve the quality of my life/living!🙂

How can you come to know God? Think of someone you know well, such as a close friend. How did that friendship develop? Likely you got to know that person’s name, personality, likes and dislikes, as well as what he or she has done and plans to do, and more. This is what drew you to that person​—you learned about him or her. [excerpted reading:  Who is God?]

Happy Learning & Hoping You Acquire Accuracy…leading….to…..everlasting life!:) aka life like trees..and beyond.

 

8:09 a.m. 9/08/18

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ho lo’gos

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There is some circulating conjecture (needing clarifying) on “a” scripture: John 1:1.

Please check this excerpted reading out:) (my highlights)

the Word: Or “the Logos.” Greek, ho loʹgos. Here used as a title, it is also used at Joh 1:14 and Re 19:13. John identified the one to whom this title belongs, namely, Jesus. This title was applied to Jesus during his prehuman existence as a spirit creature, during his ministry on earth as a perfect man, and after his exaltation to heaven. Jesus was God’s Word of communication, or Spokesman, for conveying information and instructions to the Creator’s other spirit sons and to humans. So it is reasonable to think that prior to Jesus’ coming to earth, Jehovah communicated with mankind through the Word, His angelic mouthpiece.—Ge 16:7-11; 22:11; 31:11; Ex 3:2-5; Jg 2:1-4; 6:11, 12; 13:3.

with: Lit., “toward.” In this context, the Greek preposition pros implies close proximity and fellowship. It also indicates separate persons, in this case, the Word and the only true God.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. (John 1:1)

More scholarly commentary:

  • the Word was a god: Or “the Word was divine [or, “a godlike one”].” This statement by John describes a quality or characteristic of “the Word” […], that is, Jesus Christ. The Word’s preeminent position as the firstborn Son of God through whom God created all other things is a basis for describing him as “a god; a godlike one; divine; a divine being.” Many translators favor the rendering “the Word was God,” equating him with God Almighty. However, there are good reasons for saying that John did not mean that “the Word” was the same as Almighty God. First, the preceding clause and the following clause both clearly state that “the Word” was “with God.” Also, the Greek word the·osʹ occurs three times in verses 1 and 2. In the first and third occurrences, the·osʹ is preceded by the definite article in Greek; in the second occurrence, there is no article. Many scholars agree that the absence of the definite article before the second the·osʹ is significant. When the article is used in this context, the·osʹ refers to God Almighty. On the other hand, the absence of the article in this grammatical construction makes the·osʹ qualitative in meaning and describes a characteristic of “the Word.” Therefore, a number of Bible translations in English, French, and German render the text in a way similar to the New World Translation, conveying the idea that “the Word” was “a god; divine; a divine being; of divine kind; godlike.” Supporting this view, ancient translations of John’s Gospel into the Sahidic and the Bohairic dialects of the Coptic language, probably produced in the third and fourth centuries C.E., handle the first occurrence of the·osʹ at Joh 1:1 differently from the second occurrence. These renderings highlight a quality of “the Word,” that his nature was like that of God, but they do not equate him with his Father, the almighty God. In harmony with this verse, Col 2:9 describes Christ as having “all the fullness of the divine quality.” And according to 2Pe 1:4, even Christ’s joint heirs would “become sharers in divine nature.” Additionally, in the Septuagint translation, the Greek word the·osʹ is the usual equivalent of the Hebrew words rendered “God,” ʼel and ʼelo·himʹ, which are thought to convey the basic meaning “Mighty One; Strong One.” These Hebrew words are used with reference to the almighty God, other gods, and humans. (See study note on Joh 10:34.) Calling the Word “a god,” or “a mighty one,” would be in line with the prophecy at Isa 9:6, foretelling that the Messiah would be called “Mighty God” (not “Almighty God”) and that he would be the “Eternal Father” of all those privileged to live as his subjects. The zeal of his own Father, “Jehovah of armies,” would accomplish this.—Isa 9:7.

    [excerpted readings: “New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, Study Edition, Gems]

Further reading for post context:
and me, this little birdie,…is hummming the “missing” tune from afore-mentioned post:

LOL…this sister, me aka “a” woman, 1 individual of many women on Earth (AND no, i am not a trinity!…i am “a” separate person from my mother and my daughter in case You needed, obvious-logical clarification:))…however, with woman-like qualities who ain’t into twisting scripture. 😉

Lies are worthless and weak…when You do Your own investigative-research and find truth…You just don’t take any lies anymore…You Defend Truth With Truth!:)

8/14/18 @ 1:44 p.m.

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Avoiding Sinkholes—Life-Saving!

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Look out for the sinkholes!! The Muddy Sinkholes.

There is a muddy sinkhole. There is the right side of the muddy sinkhole. There is the left side of the muddy sinkhole. And, of course, there is the middle of the sinkhole.  Is positioning important? Is any perspective, place or position better?!  What about the epicenter?

NOPE! YOU’RE STILL IN A DEATH-DEALING SINKHOLE!!! ;( 🙁 🙁

No Matter…doesn’t matter right, left, middle…You’re still stuck in the MUD!…and You’re sinking!!!

People’s thinking and decision-making gets/is muddied…by symptoms/of sick systems of sinkholes.

This world/facade in which we find ourselves…is a system of things inside systems of things operating as sinkholes…through the centuries of man’s time on Earth. Specifically post-Eden.

People get so caught up in fragmented muddy picture of their own existence…and the existence of those the closest to them…that they fail to ascertain/realize/see (because they are blinded—by mud)—that they are mal-functioning in a sinkhole.

The current framework of entire human society is a sinkhole.  The significant topography of the sinkhole: political, commercial, and religious elements of this world…are moribund!

Don’t be fooled by the mudslingers and their fake smiles…who ride the top of the mud-wave in white-starchy shirts…whose feet are slipping and sliding…before their imminent crash.

boom! (and who(??) hack the site of seemingly helpless little girl, eh?)…

Let me further explain by a narrative and excerpted readings to help wipe any mud out of Your eyes Dear Worthy Of Real Life Reader:)

You think You know Your Friends??…Do You know Your Enemy?!

(the following excerpt…highlights the Wise-Biblical Precedent of NOT highlighting killers and mass murderers and giving them undue attention and glory/fame and name through media exposure/promotion, etc.)

(my highlights) Read on IF You:) want…to learn something of value aka eye-opening & life-cleaning-saving…that will lift You outta the mind (& other) mud…(FYI: “Yahweh” is the personal name of True Almighty God/Creator (designation found 7,000 times in the Bible), “Jehovah” is the English translation of said name…accepted by many Biblical Scholars.)

E.g., My friends know me by my personal name, joan/ie. (There is nothing objectionable about using a person’s name, right?) It makes sense. Those who have a relationship with me use my name freely. It’s practical, logical to do so.  Same with God. We need to specifically distinguish which “God”…we worship, know, have a relationship with or not. There are lots of people. There are lots of gods. God, president, king…job titles…don’t tell me anything about the “specific” person/personality occupying said position of authority.

(Whether we accept certain (higher/superlative) authorities or not…they exist. No matter who You are or where You happen to live…there are taxes and paychecks…and somebody to answer to about something: a boss, a parent, a spouse, a reader? etc.)

Let’s hose off some mud shall we?…Sorry, but the water pressure has to be high/strong/uncomfortable to be effective…OUCH...temporary pain leads to permanent wellness…spiritually speaking for now.

ADAM no doubt knew that serpents cannot talk. So he may have surmised that a spirit creature had spoken with Eve through the serpent. (Gen. 3:1-6) Adam and Eve knew virtually nothing about this spirit. Even so, Adam made a conscious choice to turn his back on his loving heavenly Father and join this stranger in resisting God’s will. (1 Tim. 2:14) Immediately, Jehovah began to reveal information about this enemy who had corrupted Adam and Eve, promising that this wicked one would eventually be destroyed. But Jehovah also warned that for a time, the spirit creature who spoke through the serpent would have the power to oppose those who love God.​—Gen. 3:15.

2, 3. Why, apparently, was little said about Satan before the Messiah arrived?

In his wisdom, Jehovah has never told us the personal name of the angelic son who rebelled against him. And God chose not to reveal even the descriptive name of that enemy until some 2,500 years after the initial rebellion. (Job 1:6) In fact, only three books of the Hebrew Scriptures, 1 Chronicles, Job, and Zechariah, mention Satan, which means “Resister.” Why was little said about our enemy prior to the arrival of the Messiah?

Apparently, Jehovah did not want to give Satan undue prominence by devoting large portions of the Hebrew Scriptures to discussing him and his activity. Jehovah’s primary purpose for inspiring that section of the Scriptures was to identify the Messiah and lead God’s people to him. (Luke 24:44; Gal. 3:24) When that was accomplished and the Messiah arrived, Jehovah used him and his disciples to reveal much of what we know about Satan and the angels who joined him. That is fitting, since it is Jesus and his anointed corulers whom Jehovah will use to crush Satan and his followers.​—Rom. 16:20; Rev. 17:14; 20:10.

4. Why should we not be overly anxious about the Devil?

The apostle Peter describes Satan the Devil as “a roaring lion,” and John calls him a “serpent” and a “dragon.” (1 Pet. 5:8; Rev. 12:9) But there is no need to be overly anxious about the Devil​—his power is limited(Read James 4:7.) We are backed by Jehovah, Jesus, and the faithful angels. With their help, we can resist our enemy. Still, we need to know the answers to three key questions: What is the extent of Satan’s influence? How does he try to exert that influence on individuals? And what are the limits of his power? As we discuss these questions, we will also consider the lessons we can learn.

5, 6. Why can human governments not bring about the changes mankind needs most?

A significant number of angels joined Satan’s rebellion. Prior to the Flood, Satan lured at least some of them into having immoral relations with the daughters of men. The Bible reveals this truth by symbolically portraying the dragon as dragging a third of the stars of heaven with him in his fall. (Gen. 6:1-4; Jude 6; Rev. 12:3, 4) When those angels abandoned God’s family, they put themselves on Satan’s side as opposers of God’s will. These rebels, however, are not just a mob of troublemakers. Satan has set up an imitation of God’s Kingdom, with himself as king. In the invisible realm, Satan has organized the demons into governments, given them authority, and made them world rulers.​—Eph. 6:12.

By means of his spirit organization, Satan exerts authority over all human governments. That fact was made plain when Satan showed Jesus “all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth” and said: “I will give you all this authority and their glory, because it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.” (Luke 4:5, 6) Despite Satan’s evil influence, many governments do a measure of good for their citizens. And individual rulers may have noble intentions. But no human government or individual ruler is capable of bringing about the changes mankind needs most.​—Ps. 146:3, 4; Rev. 12:12.

7. How does Satan use not only governments but also false religion and the commercial system? (See opening picture.)

Satan and the demons use not only governments but also false religion and the commercial system to mislead “the entire inhabited earth.” (Rev. 12:9) Through false religion, Satan promotes lies about Jehovah. In addition, the Devil seems determined to make as many people as possible forget God’s name. (Jer. 23:26, 27) As a result, sincere individuals who think that they are worshipping God are deceived into worshipping demons. (1 Cor. 10:20; 2 Cor. 11:13-15) Satan also promotes lies through the commercial system. For example, this system often teaches people that the best way to be happy is to pursue money and gather many possessions. (Prov. 18:11) Those who believe this lie spend their lives serving “Riches” rather than God. (Matt. 6:24) Eventually, their love of material things can choke any love they had for God.​—Matt. 13:22; 1 John 2:15, 16.

8, 9. (a) What two lessons may we learn from the accounts about Adam, Eve, and the rebellious angels? (b) What advantage do we gain from knowing the extent of Satan’s influence?

The examples of Adam, Eve, and the rebellious angels teach us at least two important lessons. First, there are only two sides, and we must choose one. Either we remain loyal to Jehovah or we place ourselves in Satan’s camp. (Matt. 7:13) Second, those who join Satan receive only limited benefits. Adam and Eve got the opportunity to set their own standards of good and bad, and the demons attained a measure of influence over human governments. (Gen. 3:22) However, the costs always outweigh any seeming benefits that Satan may offer.​—Job 21:7-17; Gal. 6:7, 8.

What advantage do we gain from knowing the extent of Satan’s influence? It helps us keep a balanced view of secular authorities and motivates us in our witnessing work. We understand that Jehovah wants us to respect governmental authorities. (1 Pet. 2:17) And he expects us to obey the laws of human governments as long as those laws do not conflict with his standards. (Rom. 13:1-4) But we realize that we must remain neutral, never favoring one political party or human leader over another. (John 17:15, 16; 18:36) Because we see what Satan is trying to do to Jehovah’s name and reputation, we feel more compelled to teach others the truth about our God. We proudly bear and use his name, knowing that loving him is far more rewarding than loving money or things.​—Isa. 43:10; 1 Tim. 6:6-10.

10-12. (a) How may Satan have used bait to trap his angelic brothers? (b) What lessons do we learn from the fall of many angels?

10 Satan uses effective methods to influence individuals. For example, he uses bait to lure them into doing things his way. Also, he attempts to bully them into submission.

11 Consider how effective Satan was in using bait to trap a large number of his angelic brothers. He must have studied them for a considerable time before luring them into taking sides with him. When at least some of these angels took the bait and had immoral relations with women, they produced a hybrid race that dominated mankind. (Gen. 6:1-4) Perhaps Satan tempted the disloyal angels not only with the opportunity for immoral sex but also with the promise of seizing power over mankind. His purpose may have been to disrupt the arrival of the promised ‘offspring of the woman.’ (Gen. 3:15) In any case, Jehovah ended all such plots by bringing the Flood​—a move that thwarted the efforts of Satan and the rebellious angels at that time.

12 What lessons can we learn from this incident? Never underestimate the lure of immorality or the danger of egotism. For aeons, the angels who joined Satan served in the very presence of God. Yet, even in such a good environment, many allowed bad desires to take root and grow. Similarly, we may have served for decades in the earthly part of God’s organization. Yet, even in this spiritually clean environment, unclean desires can take root. (1 Cor. 10:12) How important it is that we constantly search our heart, reject immoral thoughts, and suppress unhealthy pride!​—Gal. 5:26read Colossians 3:5.

13. What is another effective bait that Satan uses, and how can we avoid it?

13 Another effective bait that Satan uses is curiosity about the occult. Today, he promotes interest in the demons not only through false religion but also through the entertainment industry. Movies, electronic games, and other media make spiritism seem exciting. How can we avoid being caught in this trap? We should not expect God’s organization to supply a list of acceptable and unacceptable entertainment. Each of us needs to train his own conscience to be in harmony with God’s standards. (Heb. 5:14) However, we will make wise choices if we apply the apostle Paul’s inspired counsel to let our love for God “be without hypocrisy.” (Rom. 12:9) We could ask ourselves: ‘Will my choice of entertainment make me seem hypocritical? […] The more our speech and actions harmonize, the less likely we are to be caught in Satan’s snares.​—1 John 3:18.

15. Can Satan force us to act against our own will? Explain.

15 Satan cannot force people to act against their own will. (Jas. 1:14) Out of ignorance, many work in harmony with Satan’s purpose. But after they learn the truth, each one makes a choice as to whom he or she will serve. (Acts 3:17; 17:30) If we are resolved to do God’s will, there is nothing Satan can do to break our integrity.​—Job 2:3; 27:5.

16, 17. (a) What other limitations do Satan and the demons have? (b) Why should we not fear to pray out loud to Jehovah?

16 Satan and the demons have other limitations. For example, nowhere do the Scriptures indicate that they can read the mind or heart of an individual. Only Jehovah and Jesus are spoken of as having that ability. (1 Sam. 16:7; Mark 2:8) What, though, about speaking or praying out loud? Should we fear that the Devil or the demons might hear our prayers and interfere? The answer is no. Why not? We are not afraid to do good works in Jehovah’s service just because the Devil might see us. Likewise, we should not be afraid to pray out loud just because the Devil might hear us. In fact, the Bible contains many examples of God’s servants who prayed out loud, and there is no hint that these ones feared that the Devil would hear them. (1 Ki. 8:22, 23; John 11:41, 42; Acts 4:23, 24) If we do our best to speak and act in harmony with God’s will, we can be confident that Jehovah will not allow the Devil to do us any lasting harm.​—Read Psalm 34:7.

17 We need to know our enemy, but we do not need to be terrified by him. With Jehovah’s backing, even imperfect humans can conquer Satan. (1 John 2:14) If we oppose him, he will flee from us. (Jas. 4:7;1 Pet. 5:9) [excerpted reading: 2 May 2018, “Know Your Enemy”]

For me, i accept… simply put: there is the real and there is the imitation. The good is organized. The evil organized. Organizations fall into these two categories of functioning…results positive/life-sustaining; results negative/deadly.

Succinctly speaking…it comes down to life or death.

i choose life!:)

questions for reflections:

will i let my own ignorance sink me??

is my love without hypocrisy??

do i ignorantly support demons??

do i consciously support TRUTH??

am i living the truth??

am i die-ing… lies??

who’s ultimate authority do i accept in my life??

do i support Yahweh’s earthly organization??

how do i lift myself out of the mud??

who’s example do i follow??

am i filling my spiritual need with occult poison/junk food??

evil men??

good men??

false messiahs??

true messiah??

am i reading the Bible daily??

what organization on earth follows primitive/(untainted/uncorrupted) Christianity as found outlined/exemplified in the Bible??

am i letting myself be bullied by muddy bullies??

am i staying mud-free aka blood-free by remaining politically neutral in thinking, speech, and actions??

Satan’s schemes are the tricks and methods he uses as he tries to break our loyalty to Jehovah. For example, he uses immorality, curiosity about the supernatural, and fear.

8/7/18 @ 3:33 p.m.
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